Minnesota has marked a significant shift in its drug policy with the passing of a new cannabis legalization bill. As the 23rd state to enact such legislation, beginning August 1, 2023, personal possession of up to 2 pounds of marijuana will no longer be considered a crime. This historic move was spearheaded by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Sen. Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville), who sponsored the law – HF100*/SF73/CH63.
The new legislation not only decriminalizes cannabis but also sets up a regulatory framework. Notably, it addresses concerns about the existing medical marijuana market, which has been legal in Minnesota since 2014. Under the new law, licensed medical suppliers can produce and sell recreational cannabis, with the allowed amount based on their business’s percentage.
Effective from August 1, 2023, the full decriminalization will enable adults aged 21 and over in Minnesota to possess, use, and grow cannabis at home. The law allows individuals to possess or transport up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in public places and up to 2 pounds in their private residence.
The legislative journey of this bill was complex, involving multiple committee stops. The House Ways and Means Committee approved HF100, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, on April 17, and re-referred it to the House Floor. This move was a significant step forward for recreational cannabis in Minnesota.
On May 30, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed the bill into law, joined by Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, former Governor Jesse Ventura, legislators, and advocates. This momentous occasion marked the culmination of efforts to legalize adult-use cannabis and provide expungement or resentencing of cannabis convictions.
For more details on the legislation and its implications for adult consumers, visit the Minnesota House Public Information Services, the State of Minnesota – Office of Cannabis Management, and the Minnesota House of Legalized recreational cannabis pages.